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Taking Command Newsletter

Regulations Highlights February 2021

Here are some highlights of state-level regulatory issues AKC GR has recently addressed.  Visit AKC’s Regulatory Resource Center for more information on these and other significant regulatory issues addressed by AKC Government Relations.

  • Federal – U.S. Department of Agriculture – On January 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the posting of its fiscal year 2020 summary enforcement data.  This data summarizes enforcement efforts on animal welfare from APHIS’ Investigative and Enforcement Services division, which investigates alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and its regulations.
    APHIS Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES) opened 30 Animal Welfare Act (AWA) cases; issued four pre-litigation settlement agreements resulting in the collection of $115,500 in stipulated penalties; and obtained 24 administrative orders assessing $509,375 in civil penalties and suspending or revoking six AWA licenses.
    In one case, APHIS entered into a Consent Decision and Order relating to multiple violations of the AWA, resulting in a $7,500 civil penalty and a revocation of the respondent’s AWA license. In another case, APHIS obtained an administrative order against an individual relating to multiple alleged AWA violations, assessing a $340,000 civil penalty and revoking the respondent’s AWA license. APHIS also negotiated several pre-litigation settlement agreements, including one involving a research facility that agreed to the assessment of a $74,000 civil penalty to resolve multiple alleged AWA violations.
    The complete Fiscal Year 2020 enforcement summary is available at
    Copies of enforcement records (such as initial decision and orders, default decisions, consent decisions, and administrative complaints) are available on the Animal Welfare Enforcement Actions Website.
  • Texas – Despite the Sunset Advisory Commission staff’s recommendation that the Texas Licensed Breeders Program be eliminated, the Commission accepted the modification of State Senator to “sever” the recommendation.  The modification was then adopted as part of the entire package of changes to programs administered by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.  In effect, the Licensed Breeder Program remains in effect.  Click here for more information.
  • Texas – On February 5, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) announced the final adoption of amendments to the state’s rules for its Licensed Breeders Program.  The changes were required by Senate Bill 1531, which was enacted in 2019 and added pleas of “no contest” to animal cruelty charges as a ground for denying or refusing to renew a breeder license.  The amendments ensure that the Licensed Breeder Program rules comply with the 2019 law, and make housekeeping updates.  AKC GR found no concerning issues with the proposal.  TDLR provided a one-month public comment period on the proposed change.  Only one comment was received by TDLR, which was in support of the change.  The rule will become effective on February 14, 2021.